An anti cancer drug that is used to treat cancers of breast, bowel and lung can help women in preventing premature labor. The drug acts on the function of a hormone receptor protein in the uterus that is associated with the process of delivery.
Researchers from the University of Newcastle had found out that the cancer drug called Trichostatin A, also known as TSA, affects the human smooth muscle cells of the uterus by acting on the pregnancy hormone Human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG).
In pregnancy the placenta produces large amounts of hCG. This hormone activates the number of CG/LH receptors on the smooth muscle cells of the uterus that keeps the uterine walls in a relaxed state. This prevents contractions before time. If the body secrets less amounts of hCG, the uterus can have contractions leading to premature labor. Women who have premature delivery of their babies often suffer from this fall in the levels of the hCG hormone.
The research results said that the drug TSA could increase the number of CG/LH receptors in the smooth muscles of the uterus. However the researchers feel that there is a research need to find out how far TSA can be successful in preventing premature labor in women, whether the drug can be administered in emergency, to stop labor, or it may be administered as a precautionary treatment.
Reference: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, June 2005